USC Annenberg/ Brett Van Ort

Current Students

Important Dates

Summer/Fall 2016 Advisement: March 21 - April 4.

For additional Spring 2016 dates, please check the Registration Calendar - USC Schedule of Classes.

PDF iconView the class profile for the entering class of Fall 2017 for Master of Communication Management

Course Descriptions

509 Influential Communication in the Marketplace - RHOADS

This interdisciplinary course explores an area of overlap that’s shared among marketing, communication, and the psychology of influence. The tools of persuasion we study in this course are deployed in the marketplace to sell products, services, and to an increasing degree, to ‘sell’ ideas and behaviors. We will examine the use of these influence tactics in marketing and social marketing, as well as in related disciplines of public relations, crisis communication, reputation management, advertising, and related disciplines. The course concentrates on persuasion and compliance tactics known to the social sciences that may be communicated both interpersonally and through mass-media venues, with the “sale” of a product, idea, or behavior as the goal. The course will locate and leverage the effective strategies of changing human behavior, with an emphasis on finding and selecting appropriate tactics.  

530 Social Dynamics of Communication Technologies - WILLIAMS

New technologies are sprouting up daily, but what does this mean for us? Do they make our lives, relationships, jobs and economies better, worse, or different? 530 brings traditional theories of communication up to date for the always-moving target of new technologies. No semester is exactly the same, but the core ideas, fundamentals and human factors can always be understood and applied. Students will gain an understanding of the risks and opportunities, with equal attention paid to theory and real-world applications.

540 Research methods - CURTIS and PADE

Research provides insight into problems and allows for the creation of solutions. As such research is a primary driver of many things and research skills are essential for making sense of the world. This course covers four research methods, focus groups, surveys, content analysis, and experiments. An applied perspective is taken and for each method we conduct a real world study on topics chosen by students. As each method generates data we cover quantitative and qualitative analysis with a focus on statistics. In all work we emphasize the importance of writing as without the ability to communicate findings the data arguably become worthless.

543 Managing Communication in the Entertainment Industries - CRAIG

This course examines Hollywood through the lens of industries, ownership, and media management.   We will map US media and entertainment industries and the role of media managers, which could describe media executives working in any division of a network or studio, or the role of creative media management, e.g., producer, programming, and production executives, or the role of talent agents and managers.  Our focus will shift to discuss how digital media is disrupting traditional media management. Finally we will look at these phenomena through the lens of the emerging field of media industries scholarship to discuss the velocity of change caused by this disruption. The course assignments will include case study and fieldwork to examine the operations, structure, value, management, and corporate/production culture of a media corporation, the departments of the film and television division, and the disruption caused by digital/social/interactive media.

544 Creating Organizing Identity (aka Communicating Branding) - UWINS

In today’s hyper-competitive world, branding is more important than ever…and yet the traditional marketing model for creating brands no longer works in the Digital Age. This course will explore what it takes to build strong brands in this environment, and equip students with a set of vocabulary, concepts and frameworks for the new organization-wide approach to branding that’s emerging.

550 Hollywood 3.0:  Transmedia Branding - CRAIG

For the past three decades, Hollywood has engaged in franchise entertainment strategy.  This strategy describes the exploitation of entertainment IP (intellectual property), across every conceivable platform, product, or experience.  Examples include tentpole films, tv series adaptations, music and book publishing, licensing and merchandising, theme parks and Broadway plays, and more. In the Digital Age, these strategies include transmedia practices that encourage participation by fan communities. Today's communication professionals operating in ANY INDUSTRY can borrow these same strategies to engage in transmedia branding to sell or promote their products, services, or cause.  In this class, students will conduct case studies to map prominent media franchises as well as design, produce, and/or launch their own transmedia branding campaign.

551 Communicating Entertainment Media Identities - BROWN

Marketing and branding are the foundational elements required to create and maintain a successful entertainment brand.  The easy availability of many different types of entertainment has created a cluttered marketplace where differentiation is critical to capturing an audience and reaching revenue goals.  As technology has enabled on-demand viewing, the available audience has fragmented, making targeted strategic marketing processes and plans essential.  This course explores the unique challenges of marketing and branding entertainment vehicles as well as the differences between the traditional marketing mix and the one required to create and maintain entertainment brands.

552 Visual Storytelling - CRAIG

This production-oriented course considers visual storytelling as a communication, marketing, and branding strategy for use by media professionals, communications executives, and digital content strategists operating in any industry, not just Hollywood.  Students will discover the best practices and present case studies on the development, production, marketing, and distribution of scripted feature films, TV series, and web series.  In addition, students will form production teams and produce original scripted web series.  

555 Online Marketing: Design, Development and Critical Analysis - FRAMROZE

In this transformative moment, dispersed patterns of media consumption and content creation, alongside expanding consumer participation within the online marketing ecosystem, mean today’s marketing professionals need to have a broad understanding of how to connect with audiences and craft appropriate messages.  In this course, students analyze online campaigns, examine the interplay between emerging technologies and changing consumer behaviors, and engage in hands-on work that blends theory with action in terms of creating marketing designed to resonate online.

556 Global Marketing Communication - SIGISMONDI

The acceleration of the phenomena of globalization is impacting business practices worldwide across different sectors in all the phases of the value chain. Markets are becoming more and more intertwined and it has become imperative for all entities operating in the 21st century to analyze their consumers and their competitive landscape in global terms. The ability to effectively do so provides a key competitive advantage in order to create, capture and deliver value in an evolving global landscape. This course reviews the principles of marketing in a global perspective, focusing on the decisions regarding the communications mix. Different communication strategies are analyzed within the global – local dilemma. A specific emphasis on the global media and entertainment landscape is provided through a survey of the most relevant media markets.

559 Global Hollywood - CRAIG

Hollywood (U.S. entertainment industries) operates at the level of the global, which begs the questions, what makes Hollywood American?  In addition, how is the stratospheric rise of the Chinese media market reverse engineering how Hollywood operates?  Furthermore, how does Hollywood’s pervasive global influence inform how other national media industries operate?  Students will conduct a national media industry case study through a multi-perspectival industrial/production, critical/cultural, and political/economic set of lenses.

574 Tele-Media -VEBBER

TV is facing massive disruption in the wake of digital technology and the rise of new entertainment platforms and content…and yet, according to some, we have entered the Golden Age of Television with not only more diverse and sophisticated content but multiple platforms for distribution and revenue streams.   This course will look at the historical model for television broadcasting, and consider how it has survived to this day. This overview will incorporate one of the most surprising facts of all—that even in this age of cord-cutting and gaming, facebook and tweeting, people are watching more television than ever.

580 Chinese Media and Society - HONG
After having become the largest exporter and then the second largest economy in the world, China is poised to claim the status of a global heavyweight in the realm of media and communications. This course examines the political economy, policy issues, and social dynamics characterizing and accompanying China’s explosive development in media, technology, and telecommunications. Through lectures and discussion, it helps students to build analytical frameworks for understanding leading trends and latest phenomena in the contexts of market reforms, state-society relationships, and geopolitical conditions. 

583 Entertainment Education - PATNOE-WOODLEY

It all starts with a story. A college senior doesn't believe the statistics and causes a horrific accident, killing a young mother and injuring her small child, while texting behind the wheel. A school high school sophomore is trying to keep her boyfriend happy and not get pregnant, like her mother and older sister before her. Through digital and traditional media, Entertainment-Education uses powerful and compelling stories such as these to provide awareness, model healthy behaviors and bring about positive behavior change. This class will provide both a theoretical and a practical approach to Entertainment-Education and Social Marketing by completing formative research, examining underlying theories and working to develop more effective creative concepts that both entertain and educate.

586 Entertainment Media - CRAIG

The entertainment industries are worth nearly $2.1T but what actually defines entertainment and why should this matter?  These questions will be framed through examination of the rise of the digital entertainment industry, which has launched the careers of Millennial content providers, new forms of content and production practice, and complex and evolving business models.  Students will conduct industrial case studies of an AVOD, SVOD, OTT, or MCN company, e.g., Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Awesomeness, Full Screen, etc.

599 Marketing Communication For The Entrepreneur - NAGER

Today, anyone with Internet access can launch a business in a matter of hours, thanks to online communication, distribution, financing, and revenue models. Yet entrepreneurial success requires far more than "building a better mousetrap." Competition from both massive corporations and other start-ups is now global, and communication channels have never been more congested. To cut through the clutter and stand out from competitors, entrepreneurs need to convey their vision and their value with carefully crafted messages in strategically selected media. In this course, students will play both "clients" and "consultants" as they develop entrepreneurial communications plans that include mission statements, media integration, influencer marketing, and a micro-managed Kickstarter campaign.

599 Global Storytelling - MAYER

This course will examine the power, genre, structure, theory and cultural effect of storytelling around the globe.  This knowledge will help you understand the importance of story to enhance effectiveness and emotional connection in your own lives, in marketing and advertising, for operating in organizations, and within emerging academic fields.  The assignments will feature multiple papers and oral presentations.

*descriptions coming soon for the following*






Professor Craig teaches graduate courses in media industries, management, and practice. His courses include Global Hollywood (CMGT 559), Visual Storytelling (CMGT 552), Media Industries and Management (CMGT 586), and Social Media Entertainment (CMGT 529). He is also an Associate Professor on the faculty at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in the Institute for Cultural and Creative Industries, where he teaches courses in global media and conducts research about Chinese media industries.